Make Getting Ready for School a Snap

Find that sock! Make that lunch! Oh no, we're late! Getting ready for school doesn't have to be a stressful. According to the parents of Parent Soup, developing a routine and sticking with it is the key to happy mornings. Here they share their tips on finding a routine that works.

Make Breakfast Special
"I have a problem with getting my daughter to school on time. It's funny how she drags on school mornings, but on the weekend she is up at the crack of dawn to watch cartoons! I have noticed that if I buy a special breakfast food, such as toaster strudel, bacon, or cantaloupe, she is more eager to get up."
~ Parent Soup member GigglesToo

Minimize Time Spent on Getting Dressed
"You could do what I had to resort to with my son a few years back: He slept in his school clothes! A little extreme, but it worked for us!"
~ Parent Soup member JLF6162

Dispelling Tension
"My friend used to promise her daughter 10 minutes of 'mommy time' (a story, a craft, a quickie manicure) if her daughter was ready in plenty of time. She said it worked like a charm, and made both of them calm before starting school and work. The trick is the follow-through--you must always be prepared to do it if she's ready on time. In order to get my kids ready for school on time (we are not morning people!) I have to have absolutely everything done the night before. If I have to make a decision or find a shoe or sign a paper at 7 a.m., I'm sunk. And to keep my kids upbeat-particularly at the beginning of the year when they may be nervous about school, I let them make choices (clothes, breakfast, lunchbox, etc.) so they feel in control. We also try to be ready early and on time to school so there's tension about getting there on time. If they think you're tense, they think something's scary about where they're going."

~ Parent Soup member MKatinAZ

Routine, Routine, Routine
"We allocate a lot of time in the morning. School starts at 8:50, but we get up at 7:30, leaving an hour and 20 minutes of time in the morning. If you cut it too close, you ask for trouble. We pack lunches, assemble backpacks and lay out clothes the night before. Then we follow the same routine every morning: Up, brush teeth, dress, do hair, go downstairs and eat breakfast. Our goal for downstairs is 8 a.m.--if we go past this I know we are running late. We have 30 minutes to eat, and our goal to end that is 8:30. After that, we put the lunches in the backpacks, and I give the battle cry, 'Pee and put your shoes on.' Then we are out the door. I think the key to all of this is the same routine every morning, and giving plenty of time so there is no rush."
~ Parent Soup member Dodop

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